Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Green Party Seeks to Overhaul Procedures for Future Elections

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Green Party Seeks to Overhaul Procedures for Future Elections

Article excerpt

Pennsylvania certified its 2016 election results Monday, officially anointing Donald J. Trump as its choice for president. But the campaign of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein isn't giving up its bid to change the way the state counts, and recounts, the ballots.

"In Pennsylvania, we are planning to proceed in federal court with an examination and a challenge to what we think is a byzantine and unworkable recount regime," said campaign attorney Jonathan Abady in a phone call with reporters.

Unlike a federal lawsuit filed last week, which was rejected Monday by U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphioa, future litigation won't seek to contest the 2016 vote tallies.

Instead, the Stein campaign said it will focus on future elections, by seeking to overhaul recount procedures and its use of paperless voting machines.

"We need to put an end to the use of these black-box machines," Ms. Stein said, referring to paperless electronic voting machines - like those used in Allegheny and most other counties - which don't retain a paper record of a voter's preferences. Critics say the machines are vulnerable to tampering because if the results are changed, it can be impossible to detect.

Ms. Stein will also seek an "automatic audit," to verify that the voting machines' programming has not been altered. Allegheny County carries out such testing on 20 randomly selected machines out of the more than 4,000 it uses, but is the only county in the state that does so.

The Stein campaign also hopes to make it easier for voters to call for a recount. In terms of such procedures, "Pennsylvania was, I think, the worst state" of those where the Greens sought recounts, said Mr. Abady. Compared to Wisconsin and Michigan, the Keystone State "presented the most problems and was most disturbing."

Recounts can be sought at the precinct level, if three voters in a given precinct petition for one. But there are 9,000 precincts across the state, meaning a statewide recount would require recruiting 27,000 evenly distributed voters. …

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